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The Fort at Saint Cirq Lapopie

Saint Cirq Lapopie in the Middle Ages

The Fort of St. Cirq Lapopie, overlooking the village, is steeped in history. It was the built at the perfect place to prevent invasion and attack. Oldoric, Viscount of St. Cirq, built the first castle here in the tenth century. From the thirteenth century onwards three noble families shared the Fort while constructing the gradiose chateau we see today in the village. While paying tribute to the Counts of Toulouse and the Kings of France, the families of Lapopie, Gourdon and Cardaillac coexisted within the same castle grounds.

The Lapopie part of the castle was built on the highest part of the rock, known as "le rocher de la Popie". That of Gourdon has not been rediscovered in the precinct but we assume they would have built a tower. The castle of Cardaillac is located lower down the rock. From the sixteenth century, the old fort was abandoned by the lords.

 

Saint Cirq Lapopie today

The ruins and vestiges of the old castles can be seen to this day. There are a thirteenth century tower, a main building and an enclosure added in the early fourteenth century. Although the castle of St. Cirq Lapopie is now a relic of history you can still walk in the footsteps of the lords, climb the stairs to the rock and take in the breathtaking view over Lot valley, with its windmills, dams, ports, locks and the famous towpath.